Northern Illinois University College of Law recently hosted its first Chicagoland Junior Faculty Scholars Works-in-Progress Conference on October 5 at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Twenty-four junior scholars presented papers, with eighteen senior scholars from eleven different law schools across the country serving as commenters. Senior reviewers came from NIU, Chicago-Kent, DePaul, Marquette, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana-McKinney, Indiana-Mauer, John Marshall, Loyola, and Northwestern. Junior faculty came from NIU, DePaul, Marquette, Loyola, Drake, Barry University, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arizona State, Missouri, Ohio Northern, South Dakota, Notre Dame, Akron, Michigan State, Houston, Chicago-Kent, and the University of Chicago. Altogether, twenty-four different law schools were represented at the conference.
“The purpose of the conference was to give junior faculty an opportunity to present their works-in-progress and get feedback from senior faculty, as well as other junior faculty,” according to NIU Law Assistant Professor Sarah Fox, one of the conference organizers. “It was also a great opportunity to network and connect with other faculty across a variety of disciplines.”
NIU Law Assistant Professor Carliss Chatman, who was also a conference organizer and presenter, agreed. “It’s always good to come together in a non-threatening environment, in which colleagues, both senior and junior, provide useful insights on your work. It’s also a chance to see what other scholars are thinking and writing.”
Interim Dean Mark Cordes attended the conference and served as a senior reviewer. As a tenured faculty member, he shared with participants the importance of scholarship and research as part of a faculty member’s development in their teaching, understanding of the law, and contribution to the legal system. This is especially true for junior faculty, who are in the early stages of their teaching careers.
“I’m extremely proud of our junior faculty, who had the vision for this conference, and then planned and executed it. This scholars conference was a great opportunity for junior faculty from across the country to discuss their ideas, move their scholarship forward, and hopefully their careers as well,” remarked Interim Dean Mark Cordes.